How to Make Stevia Extract to Reduce Your Sugar Intake

how-to-make-stevia-extractI’ve shied away from stevia in the past, because I hate its aftertaste. But, if you are trying to reduce your sugar intake, it is probably your best option of sweetener to use. So how can we make it more palatable? Today I’ll show you how to make your own stevia extract that doesn’t have a horrid aftertaste.

Years ago, I went to a cooking class on gluten-free and sugar-free baking. It was the worst cooking class I have ever attended – for various reasons! It was a demonstration, and the foods that were prepared were very high in refined carbohydrates (albeit gluten free ones) and fats. But no sugar – they used stevia instead. When we got to taste the dishes – I hated them all! I think that was the first time I had ever had stevia – and that aftertaste just wouldn’t go away.

But today, after some investigation, I am a little more tolerant of stevia. You can reduce or avoid its aftertaste,which makes stevia a good option to help you transition to avoiding sugar and other artificial sweeteners.

Stevia comes from the leaves of a plant called Stevia rebaudiana, and is usually found as a powder or a liquid extract. The active compounds of stevia are steviol glycoside – which has 150 times the sweetness of sugar. Stevia does not affect blood glucose levels, and some studies show it may help improve insulin sensitivity.

What I have found is that the bitter aftertaste is apparent when too high a concentration of stevia is used. Even though recipes with stevia call for just a few drops – if the extract or powder is really concentrated, that can still be too much. So taking it easy is the way to go.

To make stevia powder, collect stevia leaves and dry them, then finely chop them in a blender. The dried leaf powder can be used as is, in certain recipes – but they won’t dissolve, so don’t try them in your coffee!

There are many different ways to prepare an extract, with variables including:

  • using fresh leaves or dried leaves

    I use fresh leaves that I grow myself. They are easy to grow, and the plant regrows every year. The ideal time to harvest the leaves is around August – when the flowers start to appear but before the flowers start dying. If you leave it too late, you are more likely to get bitterness. If you can’t get fresh leaves, you can buy the dried leaves and use them instead.

  • with alcohol or  without alcohol

    I use alcohol – vodka – for my extract, because it extracts the sweetness well, and quickly. Any recipe calls for only a few drops of extract, which means there is negligible alcohol in the final product.

  • duration of the extraction time

    I extract for a relatively short period because, again, I find that the sweetness comes through quickly, and there is more likely to be an aftertaste if you leave the leaves in the alcohol for a longer period.

  • concentrating the extract by heating

    I choose not to heat the extract and reduce it as I don’t want it to be highly concentrated. By leaving the extract as it is, the amount you put into a recipe is more controllable. Yes, maybe I’ll use 6 drops instead of 2, but I can taste it as I go along and adjust the sweetness to how I want it.

Obviously, you can adjust these to your own taste. Here’s the recipe. I hope you’ll give it a try. If you live near me and want some leaves – just let me know.H

Homemade stevia extract:


  • Fresh stevia leaves
  • Unflavored vodka
  • (you can vary the amount as you wish – for proportions, see the recipe).


  1. Wash the stevia leaves
  2. Roughly tear the leaves into a couple of pieces and place them in a clean jar. I filled the jar with leaves – but they weren’t compressed down.
  3. Add enough vodka to cover the leaves. For my jar, this was about half full as the liquid compresses the leaves.
  4. Seal and shake the jar.
  5. Leave for 8-12 hours. Taste the liquid to see if it is sweet enough.
  6. Strain the liquid into a bottle and discard the leaves.
  7. Keep the bottle in the dark, or use a brown colored bottle. Having a dropper helps, as only a few drop are needed to sweeten foods.
Recipe Type: Sugar-free, gluten free, vegan, paleo, sugar substitute


If you prefer a more concentrated extract, you can gently simmer the extract to boil off some of the alcohol.

Ruth BaillieRuth Baillie is originally from the UK and now lives most of the year in Northern California. She holds two Master’s degrees, one in Personalized Nutrition (distinction), and another in Health Psychology. She is a Registered Nutritional Therapist, Certified Professional Cancer Coach, and Cancer Guide, and has undertaken considerable post-graduate studies in integrative naturopathic oncology. She is the author of “Choices in mind-body medicine for cancer patients in Sonoma County, California” and her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Breast Cancer Breathing Guidelines & Techniques During Exercise

Breathing Guidelines & Techniques For Breast Cancer

Yoga Model Angela Strynkowski, E-RYT 200, RYT 500 Founder of

How to breathe and control your breath Is important:

The breathing exercise that we propose is simple and controls the constant practice of involuntary inhalation and breath through the understanding and regulating the process. It has a great beneficial effect on the physical and mental health.

In yoga, breathing is known as a rather integrating principle called the prana, a wide-reaching effects that can bridge the body, mind and spirit together in a harmony which is the basis of yoga and meditation. The practice of yoga is breathing after all seeking yoga breathing techniques to maximize this universal energy that exists inherently in all of us.

Those who practice yoga feel that this state of harmony is natural and there are many aspects of life that pull apart the internal harmony of our. The yoga breathing exercise is one of the basic fundamental techniques we can use to control and even eliminate the impact of external forces have on overall health and well-being.

Some basic guidelines to breathing techniques during exercise:

  • Get up early in the morning. Come out to the countryside and make sure you’re near an open window.
Sit with back straight. Keep your hands loose inside the basin you. Observe for a few minutes to breath and has stabilized the rate of take a deep breath very slowly. As the air enters pull your belly inward, outward raising your chest. The muscles of your stomach must be tense.
Hold the breath and count to five. Then exhale and gradually relax the abdominal muscles. If you have too tiring to hold your breath counting to five, count to three or less.
  • Take a full breath – inhalation, end – and then repeat the whole exercise.
  • Once familiar and master in this technique, you can try switching between the left and right nostrils.
  • Close alternating nostrils consecutively using the thumb and ring finger with the little finger of right hand, while the other two fingers should be folded. First inhale deeply through the left nostrils and exhale through the left. Too late. Make sure stomach muscles are turned on enough.
Then change the process – breathe in through the right and exhale through right. Repeat entire process for some time.

Yoga Breathing Techniques:

1. Breathing practice. First of all, it should be jurisdiction, time and motivation to improve our breathing through exercise. The yoga breathing techniques to help turn the main control of the minds and our bodies, but can only work if you commit to a disciplined program for a period of several months.
2. Understand the physiology of breathing. Much of advanced breathing techniques yoga breathing involves changing the speed and breath as well as controlling the depth of breathing exercises. The goal of yoga breathing (pranayama) is to facilitate the mind and heart and increase the oxygenation of the cells in your body – otherwise known as a process of breathing. To master the pranayama, the images in your mind the end of the toxicity and gas up and breathe, your mind is pure, clean oxygen your body.
3. Be aware of your body and breathing. The yoga breathing techniques emphasize the role of your body, of your abdomen, sides of your chest and your chest as well as your lungs breathing in the yoga. For example, when you practice deep breathing to the abdomen is a critical indicator to get enough breath to complete adequate oxygenation. Truly mastered the pranayama is only possible when you become aware of the pace of your breathing in any activity at any time of day.
4. Dining and inhalation and exhalation, focused almost entirely on inhalation, making sure getting a real deep breath, without any focus on how they let the air out of my body. In fact, the end is as important to the success of yoga breathing exercises. Focusing on a consistent, controlled version rather than a jerky, uncontrolled release.

Inhalation should be done gently and effortlessly. Prefer to breathe through the nose. Do not tense the nostrils; let them remain relaxed. It should all be done in a smooth, continuous rhythm with each part following smoothly on from the previous part. Avoid any jerky movements and undue strain.

  1. Slowly and gently push the stomach forwards as you breathe in.
  2. Push the ribs sideways while still breathing in. The stomach will automatically go inwards slightly.
  3. Lift the chest and collar-bone up while still breathing in.
  4. When it has been completed pause for a second or so, holding the breath (optional). Mind it is to be un-forced.


  1. Just allow the collar-bone, chest and ribs to relax-the air will go out automatically.
  2. When all the air seems to be out, push the stomach in very slightly to expel any remaining air in the lungs. The upper ribs are now contracted first.
  3. You may take a tiny (optional) not-forced pause here too, just as on top of the inhaling.




Long-term health benefits of yoga breathing exercise is potentially significant, but short-term increase in energy, focus, peace and brain power you gain from just a five minute yoga breathing technique is incredibly strong in your general well – availability, productivity and happiness.
Read more on Swami Ramdev yoga exercises and yoga for beginners.

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross:  E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at if you have questions.


Dry Brush & Pink Salt Bath For Breast Cancer Lymphedema

By Diana Ross, E-RYT 500 Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga.

Relaxation and detoxification of your body with a therapeutic bath is a complementary therapy that anyone can perform in the comfort of their own home. If in a cancer related weakened state please have friend or family member close by during and after a therapeutic Pink Salt bath and dry brush body massage.

A detox bath is thought to assist your body in eliminating toxins as well as absorbing the minerals and nutrients that are in the water. Most of all, it’ll leave you feeling refreshed and awakened. Dry skin brushing increases circulation to skin, encouraging your body’s discharge of metabolic wastes, which greatly aids the lymphatic drainage of the entire body. When the body rids itself of toxins, it is able to run more efficiently in all areas.

Relax & Detox Bath Instructions

  1. Schedule time for yourself
  2. Fill tub with hot water
  3. Add 4-6 ounces of “Pink Salt” aka Himalayan Salt
  4. Mix bath water gently with hand
  5. Enter bath and soak for at least 20 minute however 40 is recommended
  6. Be sure to drink plenty of water after a “Pink Salt” bath to rehydrate the healthy relaxed cells

After Bath Care
Be sure to stand up with care, baths can make person feel dizzy or lightheaded. Have a towel ready and use a dry brush to brush/rub the body down and help stimulate the lymphatic system.

Dry brushing stimulates the skin and circulates lymph fluid which is vital for overall health. The skin is the largest organ in the body and is responsible for a quarter of the body’s detoxification. The ability of the skin to excrete toxins is of paramount importance. Dry skin brushing helps to shed dead skin cells, which improves skin texture and cell renewal.

How To Use A Dry Brush For Breast Cancer & Lymphedema

  1. Dry Brush your entire body before you shower, preferably in the morning or before bed. This helps loosen and remove dead skin and uric acid crystals.
  2. Start at the soles of your feet doing circular movements, then brush upwards on your legs toward your heart. Use long, even strokes.
  3. Brush all the way up your legs, scooping forward from behind your hips to your tummy. If you have cellulite on your hips and thighs, concentrate their a little longer.
  4. Then begin circular movements over your tummy. Start with up on right and down on left, simulating the natural movement of the bowels.
  5. Be kind in the thin sensitive skin areas of inner arm, arm pits or tops of hands and not directly on breasts. Avoid brushing anywhere the skin is broken or where you have a rash, infection, cut or wound.
  6. When ready, start the shower with warm water and end briefly with cold. Let the cold water start at your legs then the heart is last. This hot/cold therapy further stimulates the lymphatic system which improves overall circulation.
  7. Dry off vigorously and massage pure plant oils into your skin or spray on Simply Lavender. You may want your skin to breathe for a while too. Enjoy this process of good health and detoxification.

Dry skin brushing increases circulation to skin, encouraging your body’s discharge of metabolic wastes, which greatly aids the lymphatic drainage of the entire body. When the body rids itself of toxins, it is able to run more efficiently in all areas. Dry skin brushing stimulates the lymph canals to drain toxic mucoid matter into the colon, thereby purifying the entire system. This enables the lymph to perform its house-cleaning duties by keeping the blood and other vital tissues detoxified.

Visit Breast Cancer Yoga To Purchase Dry Brush


Diana RossAbout Diana Ross: E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at if you have questions.

What, Where, When and How Do I Begin a Yoga Practice for Breast Cancer Recovery?

Restorative Yoga For Breast Cancer RecoveryBy Diana Ross, E-RYT 500 Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga

What do I need to know to begin a yoga practice? Where do I start? When is the right time? How do I do it? “I have never done yoga before so will I be flexible enough?” This is a normal question to ask.

One day at a time is how or when you want to start your yoga practice. Make it simple and easy as possible so a positive tone for each day is encouraged and then re-enforced. Set yourself up for success. Start at home at first and then when ready, go to a group class where the instructor is knowledgable in recovery. I would suggest a restorative yoga class first. As far as being flexible enough; you come to yoga to gain flexibility, it is not a requirement. I have included the following steps to start an easy gentle and restorative yoga practice.

How to begin:

  1. Most importantly – you will need clearance from your health care provider.
  2. Set a specific time each day (preferably mornings) so you begin with
  3. Brush and floss your teeth, empty your bladder, and begin on an empty
    stomach or at least a lite stomach.
  4. Find a quiet and well ventilated space. Make it your sacred space for healing.
  5. Dress comfortably; no belts or tight jeans.
  6. Play music that is soothing or maintain silence.
  7. Adjust the lighting to be soft or enjoy the natural sunlight.
  8. Create a room decor as uplifting and comforting as possible.
  9. If possible have a mat, blocks and other props for support.
  10. Start small, maybe 10 to 20 minutes at first and gradually add onto your time.
  11. Try a video if you are not ready for a class.

The benefits of a yoga practice is a healing process and it will help in relaxing your body tensions while giving time for the mind to consciously rest. This often induces deep relaxation and restfulness. The deeper the tensions of mind and body the greater overall effect on the healing. Breathing is also key to decreasing mind tensions and to expand heart opening. Please use yoga props or house items, like pillows and blankets. This prop support will help in comfort and allow for this relaxation to occur. Remember too, that good thoughts produce good reactions. Be open to experience yoga and the positive flow of life energy that comes through the practice.


Diana RossAbout Diana Ross: E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at if you have questions.

%d bloggers like this: